High School Blitz

Published: Thursday, January 6, 2011 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 7, 2011 at 12:21 a.m.

Things of note in area sports



Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational
When: Saturday
Where: Eastside High School
Admission: All-day passes $10 for adults, $5 for students and children
2 p.m.: South Plantation vs. Williston
3:30 p.m.: Pinellas Park vs. Santa Fe
5 p.m.: Homestead vs. P.K. Yonge
6:30 p.m.: West Orange vs. Gainesville
8 p.m.: Orlando Agape Christian vs. Eastside

Rob Moramarco Girls Basketball Challenge
When: Today and Saturday
Where: Buchholz High School
Admission: $5 per day (wristband required to re-enter
3 p.m.: Atlantic vs. No. 27 Bartram Trail
4:30 p.m.: Gainesville vs. No. 2 Dr. Phillips
6 p.m.: Eastside vs. No. 10 Haines City
7:30 p.m.: No. 13 Buchholz vs. No. 11 Winter Haven
9 p.m.: P.K. Yonge vs. No. 9 American Heritage
10:30 p.m.: Lafayette vs. No. 1 Archbishop McCarthy
10:30 a.m.: No. 10 Haines City vs. Atlantic
12 p.m.: No. 1 Archbishop vs. No. 22 University
1:30 p.m.: No. 9 American Heritage vs. Bishop Moore
3:30 p.m.: FAMU vs. Eastside
5 p.m.: No. 11 Winter Haven vs. P.K. Yonge
7 p.m.: Tampa Tech vs. No. 13 Buchholz
8:30 p.m.: Lakewood vs. Gainesville
10 p.m.: Boynton Beach vs. Lafayette

GatorTown Hoops Classic
When: Today and Saturday
Where: The Rock School
Admission: Adults $7, students and children $3 per day
3 p.m.: West Oaks Academy vs. Faith Baptist
4:30 p.m.: Oldsmar Christian vs. Atlanta Sports Academy
6 p.m.: Westlake Prep vs. The Rock
7:30 p.m.: Tampa Academy vs. Potter's House Christian
9 p.m.: Impact Academy vs. Arlington Country Day
11 a.m.: Faith Baptist vs. Westlake Prep
12:30 p.m.: The Rock vs. Impact Academy
2 p.m.: Atlanta Sports Academy vs. West Oaks Academy
3:30 p.m.: Potter's House Christian vs. Oldsmar Christian
5 p.m.: Arlington Country Day vs. Tampa Academy

Fort White athletic director John Wilson has had a good start to the new year after receiving scary and serious news at the end of 2010.On Nov. 30, Wilson was diagnosed with a very rare type of brain tumor, and on Dec. 3, he underwent surgery at Shands to have it removed. The surgery was successful and three days later, Wilson was allowed to go home, where he has been resting.

“I am feeling 100 percent better, everything is going well and the doctors are very pleased with what is going on,” said Wilson, 52. “We are extremely lucky to have Shands in our backyard. They are world renowned with what they are doing with treating brain tumors.”

Issues with his memory and his ability to communicate prompted Wilson to see a doctor. He now is undergoing chemotherapy seven days a week and radiation treatment five days week for a period of six weeks. After the treatment is over, Wilson said it is possible that he could return to work.

“One of the biggest things I have for making me well is the number of prayers that I have received,” Wilson said. “It has just been unreal to hear how many people have given me prayers to get better, it is really amazing. I want to thank everyone for their prayers.”

Mike Rizzi, a teacher at Fort White, is also amazed to see how his close friend has handled this situation.

“His makeup of being a coach, that when adversity hits, you have to confront it and go through it, that is the approach that he is taking,” Rizzi said. “He has been amazing to me with how he has dealt with the whole thing. His athletic background has helped him through it.”

Ken Fasnacht, who stepped down last month as Columbia's offensive coordinator, is back at Ponte Vedra Nease. Fasnacht was the Panthers offensive coordinator for five seasons under former Nease and current Columbia coach Craig Howard. During that time, the Panthers made three trips to the state title game and won the 2005 FHSAA Class 4A championship with former Florida and current Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow.

Former Lafayette football and boys basketball coach Taylor McGrew will be inducted in to the Florida Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Saturday at the Daytona Beach Hilton Oceanfront Resort. McGrew, who guided the Hornets to a pair of regional playoff appearances in football and six postseason trips in basketball, is part of the FACA's 35th Hall of Fame Class.

— Cliff Olsen


Anderson Memorial one of three tourneys in area this weekend

Although it has been nearly four years since his tragic death, Saturday's fourth annual Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational will serve as a remembrance of the talented Eastside basketball player and showcase five games pitting area schools against some of the best teams in Florida.

Action begins at 2 p.m. at Eastside High School when Williston takes on South Plantation. The day concludes with host Eastside facing Orlando Agape Christian at 8 p.m.

Anderson, the state's consensus No. 1 basketball prospect at the time, died in a car accident on May 19, 2007.

Robert Sumpter, director of Florida Prospects, started the invitational as a way to keep Anderson's memory alive.

“I remember it like it was yesterday when coach (Pop) Williams called and told me about Dante,” Sumpter said. “We wanted to do an event at Eastside already, and when this tragedy happened I wanted to reach out to his mom (Sheila Baker) and brother (Benji Bell) and keep Dante's memory alive.”

Santa Fe, P.K. Yonge and Gainesville are other local teams participating.

ROB MORAMARCO GIRLS CHALLENGE: Gainesville, Eastside, P.K. Yonge, Lafayette and host Buchholz will participate in this 18-team challenge beginning today at 3 p.m. The Hurricanes take on Class 6A No. 2 Dr. Phillips at 4:30 p.m.; followed by the Rams against 5A No. 10 Haines City at 6 p.m.; the host Bobcats against Winter Haven at 7:30 p.m.; the defending 2A state champion Blue Wave against 3A No. 9 American Heritage at 9 p.m.; and the Hornets against 4A No. 1 Archbishop McCarthy at 10:30 p.m.

GATORTOWN HOOPS CLASSIC: Ten boys teams will play two games each beginning today in this classic at The Rock School. The host Lions will face Westlake Prep of Davie today at 6 p.m., and Impact Academy of Sarasota Saturday at 12:30 p.m. Action begins today at 3 p.m.


U.S. Army All-American Bowl

When/Where: Saturday, 1 p.m.; Alamodome, San Antonio, Texas


Teams: East vs. West in this annual showcase of many of the nation's top recruits.

Local player participating: The Sun's big school player of the year Tim Jernigan of Columbia, a 6-foot-2, 285-pound defensive tackle, considered the No. 1 prospect at his position in the nation according to Scout. Jernigan has listed Florida State, Alabama and LSU as his current top three, but stresses that could change. He still seems to have interest in Florida and has repeated said he will not commit during Saturday's broadcast and will likely decide on signing day on Feb. 2.

Gator commit playing: Bradenton Manatee running back Mike Blakeley (5-9, 194), who ran for 1,149 yards and 18 touchdowns his senior season.

Border Wars All-Star Classic

When/Where: Saturday, 2 p.m.; Valdosta, Ga.

Teams: Florida will consist of senior players from North Central Florida while Georgia will have senior players from South Georgia.

Local players participating: Bradford-Xavier Riles (DB), Donelle Williams (LB); Buchholz-Marvin Dixon (WR), Kenneth Harper (DB), Marquis Noble (WR), Will Rathbone (OL), Nathan Snodgrass (DL), Wintrez Thomas (RB), Ryan Thomas (OL), Deandre Thompson (DB); Eastside-Donald Buie (DB), Saveion Gibson (RB), Deion McNair (DL), Rodney Mills (WR); Fort White-Zach Bently (OL), J.R. Dixon (RB), Kyle Leland (OL), Donnell Sanders (TE), Xavier Wyche (DB); Gainesville-Allison Broxey (DL), Alfred Cason (DB), Ish Durr (LB), Anquan Gainey (WR), Ryan McGriff (QB), Tyler Moosemann (OL), Shane Mulhern (P), Phillip Ramey (LS), Sokari Scott (LB), Dallas Stubbs (PK), Marcus Thompson (DB), Larry Williams (RB); Hawthorne-Jonathan Mann (OL), Armand Pittman (QB); Santa Fe-Royce Givens (OL); Suwannee-Tom Falleck (DL), John Robinson (DL), Greg Swinson (RB); St. Francis-Alex Vasquez (DB); Williston-Desmond Holmes (DB)

Attention coaches

Football, volleyball, swimming, cross country and golf coaches who haven't turned in their all-area nominations, should by this weekend. Fax them to Larry Savage at 352-338-3128 or email them to Cliff Olsen at olsenc@sunwriters.com.

Please call in your box scores (girls and boys basketball, girls and boys soccer, wrestling and girls weightlifting) to 352-374-5050 each night by 10:30.

Coaches can e-mail results to sports@gainesvillesun.com, but should first e-mail or call high school sports editor Larry Savage about the proper format when e-mailing. His e-mail is larry.savage@gvillesun.com and phone number is 352-374-5050.

Athlete of the week nominations are made via phone on Sundays between 4-7 p.m.

Coaches should e-mail their weekly cumulative statistics to Paul Kardasz at kardasp@sunwriters.com.

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